Sample Responses from the

Chemistry Practice Exam

Sample Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Responses

Commentaries on the Responses

Effective Fall 2013
AP Chemistry Exam

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AP Chemistry Exam

Contents
Preface............................................................................................................................................................................... E

Question 1........................................................................................................................................................................ 1
Information for Free-Response Question 1.................................................................................................... 3

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 1........................................................................................ 4

Student Responses............................................................................................................................................... 6

Commentaries and Scores................................................................................................................................15

Question 2......................................................................................................................................................................17
Information for Free-Response Question 2..................................................................................................18

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 2......................................................................................19

Student Responses.............................................................................................................................................22

Commentaries and Scores................................................................................................................................28

Question 3..................................................................................................................................................................... 30
Information for Free-Response Question 3..................................................................................................31

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 3......................................................................................32

Student Responses............................................................................................................................................ 34

Commentaries and Scores............................................................................................................................... 40

Question 4..................................................................................................................................................................... 42
Information for Free-Response Question 4..................................................................................................43

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 4..................................................................................... 44

Student Responses.............................................................................................................................................45

Commentaries and Scores............................................................................................................................... 48

Question 5......................................................................................................................................................................49
Information for Free-Response Question 5................................................................................................. 50

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 5...................................................................................... 51

Student Responses.............................................................................................................................................53

Commentaries and Scores................................................................................................................................57

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AP Chemistry Exam

Question 6..................................................................................................................................................................... 58
Information for Free-Response Question 6.....................................................................................................59

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 6........................................................................................ 60

Student Responses................................................................................................................................................62

Commentaries and Scores................................................................................................................................... 68

Question 7......................................................................................................................................................................69
Information for Free-Response Question 7.....................................................................................................70

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 7.........................................................................................71

Student Responses................................................................................................................................................72

Commentaries and Scores....................................................................................................................................77

D
AP Chemistry Exam Preface

Preface
This publication is designed to help teachers and students understand and prepare for the revised AP®
Chemistry Exam. The publication includes sample free-response questions, scoring guidelines, student
responses at various levels of achievement, and reader commentaries. Collectively, these materials
accurately reflect the design, composition, and rigor of the revised exam.

The sample questions are those that appear on the AP Chemistry Practice Exam, and the responses were
collected during a field test of the exam. The students gave permission to have their work reproduced at
the time of the field test, and the responses were read and scored by AP Chemistry Readers in 2012.

Following each free-response question, its scoring guideline, and three student samples, you will find a
commentary about each sample. Commentaries include the score that each response would have earned, as
well as a brief rationale to support the score.

E
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 1
CHEMISTRY
Section II
7 Constructed-Response Questions
(Time—90 minutes)
YOU MAY USE YOUR CALCULATOR FOR SECTION II

Directions: Questions 1, 2, and 3 are long constructed-response questions that should require about
20 minutes each to answer. Questions 4, 5, 6, and 7 are short constructed-response questions that should require
about seven minutes each to answer. Read each question carefully and write your response in the space provided
following each question. Your responses to these questions will be scored on the basis of the accuracy and relevance
of the information cited. Explanations should be clear and well organized. Specific answers are preferable to broad,
diffuse responses. For calculations, clearly show the method used and the steps involved in arriving at your answers.
It is to your advantage to do this, since you may obtain partial credit if you do and you will receive little or no credit
if you do not.

1. A student performs an experiment in which the conductivity of a solution of Ba(OH)2 is monitored as the
solution is titrated with 0.10 M H2SO4 . The original volume of the Ba(OH)2 solution is 25.0 mL. A precipitate
of BaSO4 (Ksp = 1.0 × 10−10 ) formed during the titration. The data collected from the experiment are plotted in
the graph above.

(a) As the first 30.0 mL of 0.10 M H2SO4 are added to the Ba(OH)2 solution, two types of chemical reactions
occur simultaneously. On the lines provided below, write the balanced net-ionic equations for (i) the
neutralization reaction and (ii) the precipitation reaction.
(i) Equation for neutralization reaction: ___________________________________________________

(ii) Equation for precipitation reaction: ____________________________________________________

GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE.

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AP Chemistry Exam

(b) The conductivity of the Ba(OH)2 solution decreases as the volume of added 0.10 M H2SO4 changes from
0.0 mL to 30.0 mL.
(i) Identify the chemical species that enable the solution to conduct electricity as the first 30.0 mL of
0.10 M H2SO4 are added.
(ii) On the basis of the equations you wrote in part (a), explain why the conductivity decreases.

(c) Using the information in the graph, calculate the molarity of the original Ba(OH)2 solution.

(d) Calculate the concentration of Ba2+(aq) in the solution at the equivalence point (after exactly 30.0 mL of
0.10 M H2SO4 are added).

(e) The concentration of Ba2+(aq) in the solution decreases as the volume of added 0.10 M H2SO4 increases
from 30.0 mL to 31.0 mL. Explain.

GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Information for Free-Response Question 1
The student should spend approximately 20 minutes on
Timing this question.
1.E.2 Conservation of atoms makes it possible to
compute the masses of substances involved in physical
and chemical processes. Chemical processes result in the
formation of new substances, and the amount of these
depends on the number and the types and masses of
elements in the reactants, as well as the efficiency of the
Essential Knowledge/ transformation.
Big Ideas Big Idea 3: Changes in matter involve the rearrangement
and/or reorganization of atoms and/or the transfer of
electrons.
3.A.1 A chemical change may be represented by a
molecular, ionic, or net ionic equation.
6.C.3 The solubility of a substance can be understood in
terms of chemical equilibrium.
1.5 The student can re-express key elements of natural
phenomena across multiple representations in the domain.
4.2 The student can design a plan for collecting data to
answer a particular scientific question.
Science Practices
5.1 The student can analyze data to identify patterns or
relationships.
7.1 The student can connect phenomena and models across
spatial and temporal scales.
1.19 The student can design, and/or interpret data from,
an experiment that uses gravimetric analysis to determine
the concentration of an analyte in a solution.
3.1 Students can translate among macroscopic
observations of change, chemical equations, and particle
views.
Learning Objectives 3.2 The student can translate an observed chemical change
into a balanced chemical equation and justify the choice of
equation type (molecular, ionic, or net ionic) in terms of
utility for the given circumstances.
6.23 The student can interpret data regarding the relative
solubility of salts in terms of factors (common ions, pH)
that influence the solubility.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 1
Question 1
(10 Points)

Conductivity

0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0
Volume of 0.10 M H2SO4 Added (mL)

A student performs an experiment in which the conductivity of a solution of Ba(OH)2
is monitored as the solution is titrated with 0.10 M H2SO4. The original volume of the
Ba(OH)2 solution is 25.0 mL. A precipitate of BaSO4 (Ksp = 1.0 × 10−10) formed during the
titration. The data collected from the experiment are plotted in the graph above.

(a) As the first 30.0 mL of 0.10 M H2SO4 are added to the Ba(OH)2 solution, two types
of chemical reactions occur simultaneously. On the lines provided below, write
the balanced net-ionic equations for (i) the neutralization reaction and (ii) the
precipitation reaction.
(i) Equation for neutralization reaction: __________________________________

(ii) Equation for precipitation reaction: ___________________________________

Ba2+(aq) + SO42−(aq) → BaSO4(s) 1 point is earned for each correct product.
1 point is earned for the correct reactants with
H+(aq) + OH−(aq) → H2O(l) atoms and charges balanced in both reactions.

(b) The conductivity of the Ba(OH)2 solution decreases as the volume of added 0.10 M
H2SO4 changes from 0.0 mL to 30.0 mL.
(i) Identify the chemical species that enable the solution to conduct electricity as the
first 30.0 mL of 0.10 M H2SO4 are added.

Ba2+(aq) and/or OH−(aq) 1 point is earned for either ion.

(ii) On the basis of the equations you wrote in part (a), explain why the conductivity
decreases.

As the titration approaches the
equivalence point,
Ba2+(aq) ions are removed from 1 point is earned for each correct explanation.
solution by the precipitation reaction, Note: response must refer to both reactions
and for full credit.
OH−(aq) ions are removed from
solution by the neutralization
reaction.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

(c) Using the information in the graph, calculate the molarity of the original Ba(OH)2
solution.

moles Ba(OH)2 = moles H2SO4 (at equivalence point) 1 point is earned for the correct
determination of the number
0.10 mol
moles H2SO4 = × 0.030 L = 0.0030 mol of moles of titrant added at
1.0 L the equivalence point (can be
mol Ba(OH) 2 implicit).
[Ba(OH)2] = =
volume of original solution 1 point is earned for the correct
0.0030 mol = 0.12 M calculation of the original
0.025 L concentration of Ba(OH)2(aq).

(d) Calculate the concentration of Ba2+(aq) in the solution at the equivalence point
(after exactly 30.0 mL of 0.10 M H2SO4 are added).

Ksp = [Ba2+] × [SO42−] = 1.0 × 10−10
1 point is earned for the correct
[Ba2+] = [SO42−]
calculation based on Ksp.
[Ba2+] = 1.0  10 10 = 1.0 × 10−5 M

(e) The concentration of Ba2+(aq) in the solution decreases as the volume of added
0.10 M H2SO4 increases from 30.0 mL to 31.0 mL. Explain.

Because of the common ion effect,
adding sulfate ions to an equilibrium
1 point is earned for a correct explanation,
reaction involving sulfate ions will
which must use an equilibrium argument
cause the reaction to consume the
(for example, citing the common ion effect
added ions as a new equilibrium
or Le Chatelier’s principle) rather than a
is established. Consequently, more
stoichiometric argument.
BaSO4(s) is formed, causing the
Ba2+(aq) concentration to decrease.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 1A

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 1B

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 1C

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

2013 Practice Exam Scoring Commentary
Note: Student samples are quoted verbatim and may contain grammatical errors.

Free-Response Question 1 Commentary

Overview
This question provided an opportunity for students to quantitatively and qualitatively describe the
chemical processes that occur during the course of a conductivity titration. Part (a) provided an
opportunity to illustrate the chemical reactions (neutralization and precipitation) that occurred during
the titration using net ionic equations. Part (b) required students to identify any species that would cause
the solution to conduct electricity during the titration as well as discuss why the conductivity drops as
the titration proceeded. Parts (c) and (d) requested that students use data from the titration coupled
with knowledge of stoichiometry and solubility equilibrium to determine the initial concentration of the
Ba(OH)2 solution (part [c]) and the concentration of barium cation at the equivalence point (part [d]).
Finally, part (e) required students to recognize that the solubility equilibrium persists past the equivalence
point, resulting in a decrease in the concentration of the barium cation as the addition of sulfate anion
shifts the solubility equilibrium toward solid barium sulfate.

Sample: 1A
Score: 9
In part (a), the response earned all 3 points for the correct net ionic equations for both the precipitation
and neutralization reactions.

In part (b), the response earned a total of 3 points. Part (i) earned 1 point for listing Ba2+ and OH– as the
species that conduct electricity in the solution. Part (ii) earned 2 points for recognition that both of these
ions were being consumed during the reactions, causing their concentrations to decrease.

In part (c), 2 points were earned for the correct calculation of 0.12 M for the initial concentration of the
Ba(OH)2 solution.

In part (d), 0 points were earned. Although there was recognition of solubility equilibrium at the
equivalence point, an incorrect attempt was made to calculate the equilibrium concentration of the sulfate
anion via dilution of the two solutions. This yielded an incorrect answer for the concentration of the
barium cation at equilibrium.

In part (e), 1 point was earned for a clear discussion of the reduction of the concentration of Ba2+ at
equilibrium via the common ion effect, because when “more SO42– are added from H2SO4, it shifts the
reaction to the left,” resulting in a decrease in the Ba2+ ion concentration at equilibrium.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 1B
Score: 6
In part (a), 3 points were earned for the correct net ionic equations for both reactions. Although the
reactions were not in the requested location on the exam, each was clearly labeled, in order, on the
following page.

In part (b), a total of 1 point was earned. In part (i), 1 point was earned for the correct identification of the
barium cation as a conductive species. Part (ii) earned 0 points because no clear discussion was given of
the decrease in ion concentration in solution as the reaction proceeded.

In part (c), 1 point was earned for the correct calculation of the moles of Ba(OH)2 in the original solution.
The incorrect calculation of the initial molarity of the solution did not earn the second point.

In part (d), 1 point was earned for the recognition of the solubility equilibrium condition at the
equivalence point of the titration followed by the correct calculation of [Ba2+] from the K sp data.

In part (e), 0 points were earned because there was no recognition that the solubility equilibrium
of the barium sulfate is maintained past the equivalence point. This response revealed considerable
misconceptions about solubility equilibrium, since it was implied that the barium and sulfate ions would
still react stoichiometrically after the equivalence point had been reached.

Sample: 1C
Score: 3
In part (a), 1 point was earned for the recognition that H2O was the product of the neutralization reaction.
Because the other reaction was incorrect, additional points were not earned.

In part (b), 0 points were earned. There was no explicit mention of any ions as the agents of electrical
conduction in the solution, or that ion concentration decreased as the reaction proceeded.

In part (c), 2 points were earned. The response correctly calculated the initial concentration of the barium
hydroxide solution. Note that the work in this response was clearly shown at both the top of the paper as
well as in part (b).

In part (d), 0 points were earned. The concentration of barium cation at the equivalence point was
incorrectly calculated, and no work was shown.

In part (e), 0 points were earned. No explicit mention was made of an equilibrium condition past the
equivalence point. In addition, the response implied that ions were still reacting stoichiometrically, which
was a common misconception as revealed in responses to this question.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 2

2. A student is given the task of determining the enthalpy of reaction for the reaction between HCl(aq) and
NaOH(aq). The following materials are available.

1.00 M HCl(aq) 1.00 M NaOH(aq) distilled water
2.00 M HCl(aq) 2.00 M NaOH(aq) goggles
insulated cups with covers gloves lab coat
thermometer (± 0.1°C) stirring rod

The student may select from the glassware listed in the table below.

Glassware Items Precision
250 mL Erlenmeyer flasks ± 25 mL
100 mL beakers ± 10 mL
100 mL graduated cylinders ± 0.1 mL

(a) The student selects two 100 mL beakers, uses them to measure 50 mL each of 1.00 M HCl(aq) solution and
1.00 M NaOH(aq) solution, and measures an initial temperature of 24.5°C for each solution. Then the
student pours the two solutions into an insulated cup, stirs the mixture, covers the cup, and records a
maximum temperature of 29.9°C.
(i) Is the experimental design sufficient to determine the enthalpy of reaction to a precision of two
significant figures? Justify your answer.
(ii) List two specific changes to the experiment that will allow the student to determine the enthalpy of
reaction to a precision of three significant figures. Explain.

(b) A second student is given two solutions, 75.0 mL of 1.00 M HCl and 75.0 mL of 1.00 M NaOH, each at
25.0°C. The student pours the solutions into an insulated cup, stirs the mixture, covers the cup, and records
the maximum temperature of the mixture.
(i) The student calculates the amount of heat evolved in the experiment to be 4.1 kJ. Calculate the
student’s experimental value for the enthalpy of reaction, in kJ/molrxn .
(ii) The student assumes that the thermometer and the calorimeter do not absorb energy during the
reaction. Does this assumption result in a calculated value of the enthalpy of reaction that is higher
than, lower than, or the same as it would have been had the heat capacities of the thermometer and
calorimeter been taken into account? Justify your answer.
(iii) One assumption in interpreting the results of the experiment is that the reaction between HCl(aq) and
NaOH(aq) goes to completion. Justify the validity of this assumption in terms of the equilibrium
constant for the reaction.

(c) A third student calculates a value for the enthalpy of reaction that is significantly higher than the accepted
value.
(i) Identify a specific error in procedure made by the student that will result in a calculated value for the
enthalpy of reaction that is higher than the accepted value. (Vague statements like “human error” or
“incorrect calculations” will not earn credit.)
(ii) Explain how the error that you identified in part (c)(i) leads to a calculated value for the enthalpy of
reaction that is higher than the accepted value.

GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Information for Free-Response Question 2
The student should spend approximately 20 minutes on
Timing this question.

5.B.3 Chemical systems undergo three main processes that
change their energy: heating/cooling, phase transitions,
and chemical reactions.
5.B.4 Calorimetry is an experimental technique that
is used to measure the change in energy of a chemical
system.
Essential Knowledge 6.A.2 The current state of a system undergoing a reversible
reaction can be characterized by the extent to which
reactants have been converted to products. The relative
quantities of reaction components are quantitatively
described by the reaction quotient, Q.
6.A.4 The magnitude of the equilibrium constant, K, can
be used to determine whether the equilibrium lies toward
the reactant side or the product side.
2.2 The student can apply mathematical routines to
quantities that describe natural phenomena.
2.3 The student can estimate numerically quantities that
describe natural phenomena.
Science Practices
4.2 The student can design a plan for collecting data to
answer a particular scientific question.
5.1 The student can analyze data to identify patterns or
relationships.
5.6 The student is able to use calculations or estimations
to relate energy changes associated with heating/cooling
a substance to the heat capacity, relate energy changes
associated with a phase transition to the enthalpy of
fusion/vaporization, relate energy changes associated with
a chemical reaction to the enthalpy of the reaction, and
relate energy changes to PΔV work.
5.7 The student is able to design and/or interpret the
results of an experiment in which calorimetry is used to
determine the change in enthalpy of a chemical process
Learning Objectives (heating/cooling, phase transition, or chemical reaction)
at constant pressure.
6.2 The student can, given a manipulation of a chemical
reaction or set of reactions (e.g., reversal of reaction or
addition of two reactions), determine the effects of that
manipulation on Q or K.
6.7 The student is able, for a reversible reaction that has
a large or small K, to determine which chemical species
will have very large versus very small concentrations at
equilibrium.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 2
Question 2
(10 Points)
A student is given the task of determining the enthalpy of reaction for the reaction
between HCl(aq) and NaOH(aq). The following materials are available.
1.00 M HCl(aq) 1.00 M NaOH(aq) distilled water
2.00 M HCl(aq) 2.00 M NaOH(aq) goggles
insulated cups with covers gloves lab coat
thermometer (± 0.1°C) stirring rod

The student may select from the glassware listed in the table below.

Glassware Items Precision
250 mL Erlenmeyer flasks ± 25 mL
100 mL beakers ± 10 mL
100 mL graduated cylinders ± 0.1 mL

(a) The student selects two 100 mL beakers, uses them to measure 50 mL each of
1.00 M HCl(aq) solution and 1.00 M NaOH(aq) solution, and measures an initial
temperature of 24.5°C for each solution. Then the student pours the two solutions
into an insulated cup, stirs the mixture, covers the cup, and records a maximum
temperature of 29.9°C.
(i) Is the experimental design sufficient to determine the enthalpy of reaction to a
precision of two significant figures? Justify your answer.

No. The use of the beakers to measure
50 mL ±10 mL of solutions limits the 1 point is earned for the correct answer
precision of the volume measurements
and of the calculations to ±20% or 1 with the correct explanation.
significant figure.

(ii) List two specific changes to the experiment that will allow the student to
determine the enthalpy of reaction to a precision of three significant figures.
Explain.

Use graduated cylinders to measure 1 point is earned for the change of
the volumes of acid and base allowing glassware to graduated cylinders with a
a volume precision of ±0.1 mL or 3 proper explanation.
significant figures for a volume of 50.0 mL.
1 point is earned for using the 2.00 M
AND solutions for improved relative precision
in temperature.
Use the 2.00 M HCl and 2.00 M NaOH
solutions (instead of 1.00 M) to get a Note: doubling the volumes will not
larger ∆T, thereby improving the relative increase ΔT or significantly improve
precision in ∆T to ±1%. volume precision.

(b) A second student is given two solutions, 75.0 mL of 1.00 M HCl and 75.0 mL of 1.00 M
NaOH, each at 25.0°C. The student pours the solutions into an insulated cup, stirs the
mixture, covers the cup, and records the maximum temperature of the mixture.
(i) The student calculates the amount of heat evolved in the experiment to be 4.1 kJ.
Calculate the student’s experimental value for the enthalpy of reaction, in kJ/molrxn.

© 2013 The College Board. 19
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

1 point is earned
for the correct
calculation
75.0 mL × 1.00 mol HCl (or NaOH) = 0.0750 mol HCl (or NaOH) of moles of
1000 mL reactants.
– 4.1 kJ 1 point is earned
∆H = = −55 kJ/molrxn
0.0750 mol of reactants for the correct
substitution and
answer.

(ii) The student assumes that the thermometer and the calorimeter do not absorb
energy during the reaction. Does this assumption result in a calculated value of the
enthalpy of reaction that is higher than, lower than, or the same as it would have
been had the heat capacities of the thermometer and calorimeter been taken into
account? Justify your answer.

The calculated value of the enthalpy of 1 point is earned for the correct
reaction will be lower (smaller or less prediction.
negative) than it would have been had the
thermometer and calorimeter been taken
into account.
The thermometer and calorimeter will absorb
some of the heat of reaction. This lost heat
is ignored in the original calculation of
∆Hrxn, making it smaller in magnitude
(less negative).
OR 1 point is earned for an acceptable
justification.
The actual heat capacity of the system is
the sum of the heat capacities of the water,
thermometer, and calorimeter. The assumed
heat capacity of the system (water only) is less
than the actual value, resulting in a lower (less
negative) calculated value of ∆Hrxn.

(iii) One assumption in interpreting the results of the experiment is that the reaction
between HCl(aq) and NaOH(aq) goes to completion. Justify the validity of this
assumption in terms of the equilibrium constant for the reaction.

H+ + OH− → H2O, the reaction between HCl(aq)
and NaOH(aq), is the reverse of H2O → H+ +
OH−, the autoionization of water (for which K
= Kw = 1.0 × 10−14). Thus the value of K for the 1 point is earned for the correct
neutralization reaction is the reciprocal of Kw, justification.
or 1.0 × 1014, a very large number. Thus
the neutralization reaction goes virtually
to completion.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

(c) A third student calculates a value for the enthalpy of reaction that is significantly
higher than the accepted value.
(i) Identify a specific error in procedure made by the student that will result in a
calculated value for the enthalpy of reaction that is higher than the accepted value.
(Vague statements like “human error” or “incorrect calculations” will not earn
credit.)

The student read the thermometer incorrectly
in such a way to result in a calculated value of
∆T that was too high (either read Ti too low or
1 point is earned for an acceptable
read Tf too high).
procedural error that results in a
OR higher calculated value.
The student mistakenly used 2.00 M acid and
2.00 M base, thinking they were both 1.00 M.

(ii) Explain how the error that you identified in part (c)(i) leads to a calculated value
for the enthalpy of reaction that is higher than the accepted value.

The calculation of the molar enthalpy of reaction
may be expressed as
mass soln  c  ∆T
Molar ∆Hrxn =  . 1 point is earned for an explanation
nrxn that is consistent with the stated
If there is a measurement error that results in procedural error.
a ∆T that is too high, the magnitude (i.e., the
absolute value) of the calculated molar enthalpy
of reaction will be too high.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 2A*

* Due to a question and scoring guideline change after the piloting of this exam, all of the responses to Question 2 represent a
combination of student/teacher work.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 2B

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 2C

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 2 Commentary

Overview
This question provided an opportunity for students to perform an in-depth examination of an enthalpy
of neutralization experiment. Part (a) required students to examine the design of the experiment,
determining whether the design was sufficient to allow for the enthalpy of neutralization to be calculated
to two significant figures (i), and proposing, with explanation, changes to the design that would guarantee
a calculated enthalpy of three significant figures (ii). Part (b) requested students to calculate the enthalpy
of reaction (part i) and examine the experimental and theoretical assumptions made in the experiment
(parts ii and iii). Finally, in part (c), students were required to identify a specific error that caused the
calculated heat of reaction to be higher than that of the literature value. In addition, students needed to
explain why this error led to an artificially inflated value of ΔH for the reaction.

Sample: 2A
Score: 10
In part (a), the response earned 3 points. In (i), 1 point was earned since it was clearly stated that
beakers have a precision of only one significant figure. Thus, using them for volume measurement will
result in an answer of one significant figure for the enthalpy of reaction. In (ii), 2 points were earned
for the suggestion to use graduated cylinders with a precision of three significant figures, as well as the
suggestion to use 2.00 M reactant solutions. The latter suggestion would increase the value of ΔT to three
significant figures. Each of these changes would improve the precision of the experiment to the desired
level.

In part (b), the maximum 5 points were earned. In (i), the value of -54 kJ/mol rxn was clearly calculated from
the data in the problem. In (ii) it was correctly stated that ignoring energy loss to the calorimeter and the
thermometer would result in a ΔH that is too low, because the lost energy could not
be added back into the calculation. Finally, part (iii) earned 1 point because the equilibrium constant of
1 x 1014 for the reaction of HCl and NaOH is clearly stated, resulting in a reaction that is “essentially a
limiting reactant problem.”

In part (c), 2 points were earned. The correct error identified is the student believing 2.00 M solutions
were being used, while in reality the concentration of each solution is just 1.00 M. Such reasoning would
result in a calculated ΔH that was too large. The correct rationale for why this error would lead to a higher
calculated value for enthalpy of reaction is that dividing the larger q, calculated from q = mcΔT, by the
value of the moles of reactant that was too low (because the student thought the molarity of the solution
was 1.00 M instead of 2.00 M) would result in a calculated value of ΔH that was artificially high by a factor
of two.

Sample: 2B
Score: 6
In part (a), the response earned 2 points. In (i), 1 point was earned for noting that the precision of the
beakers is only accurate to one significant figure. In (ii), 1 point was awarded for selecting graduated
cylinders to measure the volumes of reactants “which are good to the tenths place.” Although the response
also suggests using 2.00 M solutions, there is no explanation as to why these solutions would increase
precision to three significant figures. Thus, the final point in the problem was not earned.

© 2013 The College Board. 28
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

In part (b), a total of 4 points were earned. In (i), 1 point was earned for the correct calculation of moles of
reactants. However, although the magnitude of the ΔH was correct, the sign on the answer implies that the
reaction is endothermic. Thus, the second point was not earned. In (ii), both points were earned because
the response correctly predicts that the calculated enthalpy will be lower, as indicated by the explanation
that “they are missing out on the energy lost to the calorimeter and thermometer.” In (iii), 1 point was
earned for recognizing that the equilibrium constant for the neutralization reaction was extremely large.

In part (c), 0 points were earned, since an improper measurement in the volumes of the solutions would not
result in a ΔH of reaction that was too large.

Sample: 2C
Score: 4
In part (a), the response earned 2 points. In (i), it was correctly noted that beakers only provide one
significant figure in a volume measurement. Thus, the enthalpy of reaction could not be determined to two
significant figures. In (ii), the suggestion of using the more precise graduated cylinder earned 1 point.
Although using a more precise thermometer could also improve the precision of the enthalpy measurement
to three significant figures, this answer did not receive credit because more precise thermometers were not
available in the list of equipment.

In part (b), 2 points were earned. In (i), the correct calculation of ΔH, with proper sign, earned 2 points.
In (ii), the response incorrectly predicts that the enthalpy of reaction will be higher. Thus, 0 points were
earned. In (iii), it is mentioned that HCl and NaOH will “react strongly.” However, the response incorrectly
states that the equilibrium constant for the reaction will be small, as opposed to the correct value of 1 x
1014 , which would result in the reaction essentially going to completion.

In part (c), 0 points were earned. The error in mixing that was discussed would not cause a ΔH that was
significantly higher than the accepted value.

© 2013 The College Board. 29
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 3

Æ SO (g) + Cl (g)
SO2Cl2(g) ¨ 2 2

3. A 4.32 g sample of liquid SO2Cl2 is placed in a rigid, evacuated 1.50 L reaction vessel. As the container is
heated to 400. K, the sample vaporizes completely and starts to decompose according to the equation above.
The decomposition reaction is endothermic.

(a) If no decomposition occurred, what would be the pressure, in atm, of the SO2Cl2(g) in the vessel at 400. K ?

(b) When the system has reached equilibrium at 400. K, the total pressure in the container is 1.26 atm.
Calculate the partial pressures, in atm, of SO2Cl2(g), SO2(g), and Cl2(g) in the container at 400. K.

(c) For the decomposition reaction at 400. K,
(i) write the equilibrium-constant expression for Kp for the reaction, and
(ii) calculate the value of the equilibrium constant, Kp .

(d) The temperature of the equilibrium mixture is increased to 425 K. Will the value of Kp increase, decrease,
or remain the same? Justify your prediction.

(e) In another experiment, the original partial pressures of SO2Cl2(g), SO2(g), and Cl2(g) are 1.0 atm each at
400. K. Predict whether the amount of SO2Cl2(g) in the container will increase, decrease, or remain the
same. Justify your prediction.

GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE.

30
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Information for Free-Response Question 3
The student should spend approximately 20 minutes on
Timing this question.

2.A.2 The gaseous state can be effectively modeled with
a mathematical equation relating various macroscopic
properties. A gas has neither a definite volume nor a
definite shape; because the effects of attractive forces
are minimal, we usually assume that the particles move
independently.
6.A.3 When a system is at equilibrium, all macroscopic
Essential Knowledge
variables, such as concentrations, partial pressures, and
temperature, do not change over time. Equilibrium results
from an equality between the rates of the forward and
reverse reactions, at which point Q = K.
6.B.1 Systems at equilibrium respond to disturbances
by partially countering the effect of the disturbance
(Le Chatelier’s principle).
1.4 The student can use representations and models to
analyze situations or solve problems qualitatively and
quantitatively.
2.2 The student can apply mathematical routines to
Science Practices quantities that describe natural phenomena.
2.3 The student can estimate numerically quantities that
describe natural phenomena.
6.4 The student can make claims and predictions about
natural phenomena based on scientific theories and models.
2.6 The student can apply mathematical relationships or
estimation to determine macroscopic variables for ideal
gases.
6.4 The student can, given a set of initial conditions
(concentrations or partial pressures) and the equilibrium
constant, K, use the tendency of Q to approach K to
predict and justify the prediction as to whether the
reaction will proceed toward products or reactants as
equilibrium is approached.
6.5 The student can, given data (tabular, graphical, etc.)
from which the state of a system at equilibrium can be
Learning Objectives
obtained, calculate the equilibrium constant, K.
6.6 The student can, given a set of initial conditions
(concentrations or partial pressures) and the equilibrium
constant, K, use stoichiometric relationships and the law
of mass action (Q equals K at equilibrium) to determine
qualitatively and/or quantitatively the conditions at
equilibrium for a system involving a single reversible
reaction.
6.8 The student is able to use Le Chatelier’s principle to
predict the direction of the shift resulting from various
possible stresses on a system at chemical equilibrium.

© 2013 The College Board. 31
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 3
Question 3
(10 Points)

SO Cl22(g)
SO2Cl (g) SO22(g)
SO (g) +
+ Cl
Cl22(g)
(g)

A 4.32 g sample of liquid SO2Cl2 is placed in a rigid, evacuated 1.50 L reaction vessel.
As the container is heated to 400. K, the sample vaporizes completely and starts to
decompose according to the equation above. The decomposition reaction is endothermic.
(a) If no decomposition occurred, what would be the pressure, in atm, of the SO2Cl2(g)
in the vessel at 400. K ?

Assuming no decomposition, 1 point is earned for
m 4.32 g the correct calculation
molesSO2Cl 2 = = = 0.0320 mol of moles of SO2Cl2
M 134.96 g/mol
(may be implicit).
. .
pSO2Cl 2 = nRT = (0.0320 mol)(0.0821 L atm / mol K)(400. K) 1 point is earned for
V 1.50 L the correct calculation
= 0.701 atm of the pressure.

(b) When the system has reached equilibrium at 400. K, the total pressure in the
container is 1.26 atm. Calculate the partial pressures, in atm, of SO2Cl2(g), SO2(g),
and Cl2(g) in the container at 400. K.

Pressures at equilibrium at 400. K:
SO2Cl2(g) → SO2(g) + Cl2(g) Total 1 point is earned for the correct setup.
0.701 − x x x 0.701 + x
ptotal = 0.701 + x = 1.26 atm 1 point is earned for the correct
x = pSO2 = pCl 2 = 0.56 atm calculation of pressures.
pSO2Cl 2 = 0.701 − x = 0.14 atm

(c) For the decomposition reaction at 400. K,
(i) write the equilibrium-constant expression for Kp for the reaction, and

1 point is earned for the correct Kp
pSO2 . pCl 2 expression.
Kp =
pSO2Cl 2 Note: the pressure subscripts must be
specific (i.e., SO2, Cl2, and SO2Cl2 — NOT,
e.g., A, B, C, and D).

(ii) calculate the value of the equilibrium constant, Kp.

1 point is earned for the correct calculation
(0.56)(0.56) of Kp that is consistent with the Kp
Kp = = 2.2 expression stated in part (c)(i) and with the
0.14
partial pressures calculated in part (b).

(d) The temperature of the equilibrium mixture is increased to 425 K. Will the value of
Kp increase, decrease, or remain the same? Justify your prediction.

© 2013 The College Board. 32
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

At a higher temperature, Kp will increase.
According to Le Chatelier’s principle, 1 point is earned for the correct prediction.
raising the temperature of an
endothermic reaction at equilibrium adds 1 point is earned for a proper justification
a thermal stress that increases the value of in terms of Le Chatelier’s principle.
Kp and produces more products.

(e) In another experiment, the original partial pressures of SO2Cl2(g), SO2(g), and Cl2(g)
are 1.0 atm each at 400. K. Predict whether the amount of SO2Cl2(g) in the container
will increase, decrease, or remain the same. Justify your prediction.

The amount of SO2Cl2 in the container 1 point is earned for the correct prediction.
will decrease.
1 point is earned for an acceptable
Initially Qp = 1.0 < 2.2. = Kp, thus the justification.
reaction will consume SO2Cl2 as it
proceeds in the forward direction to Note: the justification must consider the
reestablish equilibrium. relative values of Qp and Kp.

© 2013 The College Board. 33
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 3A

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

© 2013 The College Board. 35
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 3B

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

© 2013 The College Board. 37
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 3C

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

© 2013 The College Board. 39
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 3 Commentary

Overview
This question provided an opportunity for students to quantitatively analyze a gas phase decomposition
reaction in chemical equilibrium. Part (a) required students to calculate the initial pressure of the reaction
system before any reaction occurred. Part (b) required students to calculate the equilibrium pressures of
all reactants and products given the total equilibrium pressure of the reaction system. Part (c) required
students to write the equilibrium constant expression Kp for the decomposition reaction, and to determine
the value of Kp using the equilibrium pressures determined in part (b). Part (d) requested that students
predict the effect of a temperature increase on the value of Kp, with proper justification utilizing Le
Châtelier’s principle. Finally, in part (e), students were asked to predict what would happen to the amount
of reactant in a subsequent experiment as the reaction system approached equilibrium via a comparison of
the reaction quotient Q to the equilibrium constant K.

Sample: 3A
Score: 10
In part (a), the response earned the maximum 2 points for correct use of the ideal gas law to calculate the
initial pressure of the reaction system before any decomposition occurred.

In part (b), 2 points were earned for correctly using a RICE chart and the stoichiometry of the reaction to
determine the pressures of all reactants and products at equilibrium, given that the total pressure was 1.26
atm.

In part (c), the maximum 2 points were awarded for the correct expression for the equilibrium constant Kp,
and for the proper substitution of the values obtained in part (b) to obtain a value of 2.2.

In part (d), 2 points were earned. The first point was earned for the correct prediction that the “value of
Kp will increase because the reaction is endothermic.” Proper use of Le Châtelier’s principle to justify this
prediction earned the second point.

In part (e), 2 points were earned for the correct calculation of Q = 1 and for the excellent justification that
“because Q is less than K, the reaction must shift right to make more products. Therefore the amount of
SO2Cl2 in the container will decrease.”

Sample: 3B
Score: 7
In part (a), 2 points were earned for the correct calculation of the initial pressure of SO2Cl2 gas from the
ideal gas law before any reaction occurred.

In part (b), 0 points were earned. The response correctly indicated that both products would have the same
pressure at equilibrium. However, the incorrect setup of an equation that related the pressures of each
reaction species to the total pressure of 1.26 atm prevented any points from being earned.

In part (c), 1 point was earned. The use of square brackets, [ ], in the Kp expression implied that
concentrations, as opposed to pressures, should be used to calculate Kp. Consequently, no points were
awarded in part (i). Proper substitution and calculation of the written equilibrium constant utilizing the
pressure values determined in part (b) earned 1 point.

© 2013 The College Board. 40
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

In part (d), 2 points were earned. The first point was earned for the correct prediction that the value of Kp
would increase as the temperature of the reaction system increased. The use of Le Châtelier’s argument,—
in which energy could be considered a reactant of the endothermic reaction, causing Kp to increase as the
temperature increased — earned the second point.

In part (e), 2 points were earned. The response correctly predicted that the amount of SO2Cl2 increased
when equilibrium was reached, which was correct based upon previous calculations. Because the response
had to use the value of 0.11 calculated in part (c), the second point was earned by engaging in a correct
discussion that the value of Q (mislabeled as “Kp at that moment”) must decrease from 1.0 to 0.11, causing
the concentration of the reactants to increase.

Sample: 3C
Score: 4
In part (a), 1 point was earned. Although the number of moles of SO2Cl2 before reaction was correctly
calculated for 1 point, the incorrect value of R used in the ideal gas law resulted in an incorrect initial
pressure for the gas. Thus, the second point was not earned.

In part (b), 0 points were earned. The pressures at equilibrium were calculated incorrectly, utilizing a
ratio of molar masses as opposed to using stoichiometry and the total pressure of the reaction system at
equilibrium.

In part (c), the maximum 2 points were earned. One point was earned in (i) for the Kp expression, because
the brackets around the pressures were interpreted to imply multiplication of the pressures inside of them,
and not a “concentration of a pressure.” Correct substitution and calculation of Kp from the pressures of
part (b) earned the second point.

In part (d), 0 points were earned for the incorrect prediction because “the constant is not dependent on
the temperature, thus it will remain the same.”

In part (e), 1 point was earned. The response correctly predicts that for the Kp calculated in part (c), the
pressure of SO2Cl2 would increase as the reaction system reached equilibrium. However, the second point
was not earned because of the incorrect explanation that does not relate the reaction quotient to the
equilibrium constant.

© 2013 The College Board. 41
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 4

2 NO2(g) + F2(g) → 2 NO2F(g)

4. It is proposed that the reaction represented above proceeds via the mechanism represented by the two elementary
steps shown below.
Step I: NO2 + F2 → NO2F + F (slow)
Step II: Æ NO F
NO2 + F ¨ (fast reversible)
2

(a) Step I of the proposed mechanism involves the collision between NO2 and F2 molecules. This step is slow
even though such collisions occur very frequently in a mixture of NO2(g) and F2(g). Consider a specific
collision between a molecule of NO2 and a molecule of F2 .
(i) One factor that affects whether the collision will result in a reaction is the magnitude of the collision
energy. Explain.
(ii) Identify and explain one other factor that affects whether the collision will result in a reaction.

(b) Consider the following potential rate laws for the reaction. Circle the rate law below that is consistent with
the mechanism proposed above. Explain the reasoning behind your choice in terms of the details of the
elementary steps of the mechanism.

rate = k[NO2]2[F2] rate = k[NO2][F2]

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42
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Information for Free-Response Question 4
The student should spend approximately 7–8 minutes on
Timing this question.
4.B.1 Elementary reactions can be unimolecular or involve
collisions between two or more molecules.
4.B.2 Not all collisions are successful. To get over the
Essential Knowledge/ activation energy barrier, the colliding species need
Enduring Understanding sufficient energy. Also, the orientations of the reactant
molecules during the collision must allow for the
rearrangement of reactant bonds to form product bonds.
4.C Many reactions proceed via a series of elementary
reactions.
6.2 The student can construct explanations of phenomena
based on evidence produced through scientific practices.
6.5 The student can evaluate alternative scientific
Science Practices
explanations.
7.1 The student can connect phenomena and models across
spatial and temporal scales.
4.4 The student is able to connect the rate law for an
elementary reaction to the frequency and success of
molecular collisions, including connecting the frequency
and success to the order and rate constant, respectively.
4.5 The student is able to explain the difference between
collisions that convert reactants to products and those
Learning Objectives that do not in terms of energy distributions and molecular
orientation.
4.7 The student is able to evaluate alternative explanations,
as expressed by reaction mechanisms, to determine which
are consistent with data regarding the overall rate of a
reaction, and data that can be used to infer the presence of a
reaction intermediate.

Characteristics of a

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114 Chemistry Practice Exam
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Scoring Guidelines for Free-Response Question 4
Question 4
(4 Points)
2 NO2(g) + F2(g) → 2 NO2F(g)

It is proposed that the reaction represented above proceeds via the mechanism
represented by the two elementary steps shown below.
Step I: NO2 + F2 → NO2F + F (slow)
Step II:  NO2F
NO2 + F  (fast reversible)
(a) Step I of the proposed mechanism involves the collision between NO2 and F2
molecules. This step is slow even though such collisions occur very frequently in a
mixture of NO2(g) and F2(g). Consider a specific collision between a molecule of NO2
and a molecule of F2.
(i) One factor that affects whether the collision will result in a reaction is the
magnitude of the collision energy. Explain.

Successful molecular collisions must have
sufficient energy in order to result in
reaction. Only collisions with sufficient 1 point is earned for a correct explanation
energy to overcome the activation energy that makes reference to the activation
barrier, Ea, will be able to reach the energy of the reaction.
transition state and begin to break the
F–F bond.

(ii) Identify and explain one other factor that affects whether the collision will result
in a reaction.

For a collision to be successful, the
molecules must have the correct 1 point is earned for identifying the
orientation. relative orientation of the colliding
molecules.
Only collisions with the correct
orientation will be able to begin to form
an N–F bond and begin to break an F–F
bond as the transition state is approached 1 point is earned for an explanation that
(that is, the molecules must contact each makes reference to specific parts (atoms or
other at very specific locations on their bonds) of the reacting molecules.
surfaces for the transition state to be
accessible).

(b) Consider the following potential rate laws for the reaction. Circle the rate law below
that is consistent with the mechanism proposed above. Explain the reasoning behind
your choice in terms of the details of the elementary steps of the mechanism.
rate = k[NO2]2[F2] rate = k[NO2][F2]

1 point is earned for identifying the
The rate law that is consistent with the
correct rate law with a proper explanation.
mechanism is the one on the right above
(rate = k[NO2][F2]). The explanation must correlate the overall
rate law with the rate law derived from
Step I is the slower step and the rate- the stoichiometry of the slow step in the
determining step in the mechanism. mechanism.
Since Step I is an elementary reaction, its
rate law is given by the stoichiometry of Note: a statement relating the coefficients
the reacting molecules, of the reactants in Step I to the exponents
in the rate law indicates a correct
rateStep I = k1[NO2][F2].
understanding.

© 2013 The College Board. 44
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 4A*

* Due to a question and scoring guideline change after the piloting of this exam, all of the responses to Question 4 represent a
combination of student/teacher work.

45
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 4B

46
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 4C

47
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 4 Commentary

Overview
This question provided an opportunity for students to demonstrate an understanding of reaction
mechanisms. Part (a) required students to explain the molecular factors that result in a successful
collision. Part (b) required students to correctly identify the rate law for the reaction mechanism given in
the problem, using details of the elementary reaction steps to justify their choice.

Sample: 4A
Score: 4
In part (a), the response earned the maximum 3 points. One point was earned in (i) for correctly describing
the need for a successful collision to have enough energy to overcome the activation energy barrier.
The remaining points were earned in (ii) as orientation of collision was identified as the second factor
necessary for a successful collision. The description of the need for the collision to “hit ‘the right way’” so
that the collision starts to break the bond in F2 and “make a bond between N and F” provided an excellent
explanation of what proper orientation means.

In part (b), 1 point was earned because the response selected the proper rate law and provided an
explanation that clearly connected the rate law of the slow step of the mechanism to the overall rate law
for the reaction.

Sample: 4B
Score: 3
In part (a), 2 points were earned. In (i), 1 point was earned for a discussion that the molecules need to have
enough energy to overcome the activation energy. In (ii), 1 point was earned for identifying orientation as
the second factor. However, the explanation of what proper orientation means was not in sufficient depth
to earn the second point.

In part (b), 1 point was earned for correctly identifying the rate = k[NO2][F2] in the response, and for the
explanation that stated that the rate law of a reaction is determined by the rate law of slowest step of the
mechanism.

Sample: 4C
Score: 1
In part (a), the response earned 1 point. In (i) the response correctly described the need of a collision to
have enough energy to overcome the activation energy barrier. However, the identification of volume in
(ii) as the second factor of a successful collision failed to earn additional points.

In part (b), 0 points were earned because an incorrect rate law was identified. In addition, the response
stated the common misconception that the rate law is determined from the overall stoichiometry of the
reaction, as opposed to the stoichiometry of the rate-determining step.

© 2013 The College Board. 48
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 5

5. Methanamide, CH3NO, is a liquid at 25∞C.
(a) The complete Lewis electron-dot diagram for methanamide is shown below.

(i) In the molecule, angle x is not 180°. Estimate the observed angle. Justify your answer.
(ii) In the molecule, angle y is not 90°. Explain why in terms of electron domains (VSEPR model).

(b) Consider a molecule with the formula CH2O2 . The structure of this molecule has a geometry around the
carbon atom similar to the geometry around carbon in methanamide. In the box provided below, draw the
complete Lewis electron-dot diagram for the molecule.

GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE.

© 2013 The College Board. 49
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Information for Free-Response Question 5
The student should spend approximately 7–8 minutes on
Timing this question.
2.C.4 The localized electron bonding model describes and
Essential Knowledge predicts molecular geometry using Lewis diagrams and
the VSEPR model.
1.4 The student can use representations and models to
Science Practice analyze situations or solve problems qualitatively and
quantitatively.
2.21 The student is able to use Lewis diagrams and
Learning Objective VSEPR to predict the geometry of molecules, identify
hybridization, and make predictions about polarity.

Characteristics of a
STRONG

© 2013 The College Board. 50

Chemistry Practice Exam 117
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Scoring Guidelines for Question 5
Question 5
(4 Points)
Methanamide, CH3NO, is a liquid at 25°C.
(a) The complete Lewis electron-dot diagram for methanamide is shown below.

O H
y
H C N H
x

(i) In the molecule, angle x is not 180°. Estimate the observed angle. Justify your
answer.

1 point is earned for the correct angle with
Angle x is approximately 120°. justification.
Three electron domains around the Note: accept 120° ± 10° for the angle
carbon atom will maximally separate the (i.e., 110° ≤ x ≤ 130°.) Also accept steric
electrons and minimize the energy when number (SN) = 3 or trigonal planar
the bond angles are 120°. geometry for the justification in part (i)
only.)

(ii) In the molecule, angle y is not 90°. Explain why in terms of electron domains
(VSEPR model).

Angle y is approximately 109.5°.
Four electron domains around the
nitrogen atom will maximally separate
the electrons and minimize the energy 1 point is earned for the correct
when the bond angles are 109.5°. justification for an angle different than 90°.
OR
Angle y is approximately 120°. Note: the justification need not give a
specific bond angle, but it must mention
Considering possible resonance the repulsion of 4 electron domains (or 3
structures involving a double bond electron domains, if resonance structures
between the C and N atoms, there are are mentioned).
three electron domains around the
nitrogen atom. In this case, minimization
of energy leads to bond angles of
approximately 120°.

© 2013 The College Board. 51
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

(b) Consider a molecule with the formula CH2O2. The structure of this molecule has
a geometry around the carbon atom similar to the geometry around carbon in
methanamide. In the box provided below, draw the complete Lewis electron-dot
diagram for the molecule.

2 points are earned for a correct Lewis
electron-dot diagram for formic acid.
O
Notes: 1 point is earned for the correct skeletal
structure for formic acid with the C=O double
C H bond (i.e., containing all five bonding pairs)
H O but missing one or more lone pairs.
Also, 1 point is earned for a Lewis electron-dot
diagram representing
(i) the correct molecular formula (CH2O2)
(ii) with three electron domains and at
least three bonded pairs of electrons
around the carbon atom, with no more
than three bonded pairs of electrons
around any oxygen atom, and
(iii) the proper distribution of all 18
electrons in accordance with the octet
rule.

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120 Chemistry Practice Exam
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 5A

53
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 5B

54
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 5C

55
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

© 2013 The College Board. 56
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 5 Commentary

Overview
This question provided an opportunity for students to predict and discuss the information that can be
deduced from a Lewis electron-dot diagram. Part (a) had two parts. In (i), students were required to
use the Lewis diagram for methanamide to predict, with justification, the bond angle around the lone
carbon atom. Part (ii) required the students to explain why the bond angle around the nitrogen atom
in methanamide was not 90° using VSEPR theory. Part (b) provided an opportunity for students to draw
a Lewis electron-dot diagram for CH2O2 (methanoic acid), utilizing information about the structure of
methanamide to guide them in constructing the proper representation of the molecule.

Sample: 5A
Score: 4
In part (a), the response earned the maximum 2 points. In (i), the correct angle of 120 degrees was
predicted, referencing the fact that the steric number around the carbon atom was 3. In (ii), the angle was
predicted to be 109.5 degrees, referencing the idea that repulsion between the lone pair and the three
bonds around the nitrogen atom formed a tetrahedral shape.

In part (b), 2 points were earned for the proper representation of the Lewis electron-dot diagram for
methanoic acid, CH2O2.

Sample: 5B
Score: 3
In part (a), the response earned 1 point. In (i), no prediction was made for the bond angle around the
carbon atom in methanamide. Consequently, no credit was earned. However, 1 point was earned in (ii) for
referencing the fact that four electron domains around the nitrogen atom cause the bonds to push others
away.

In part (b), the maximum 2 points were earned for the proper representation of the Lewis electron-dot
diagram for CH2O2.

Sample: 5C
Score: 1
In part (a), the response earned 1 point. No points were earned in (i) because the bond angle predicted
was that for tetrahedral symmetry (109.5°). Part (ii) earned 1 point because reference was made to the
fact that the “unbonded pair forces the other three bonds to squish together,” clearly referencing the
interaction of four electron domains around the nitrogen atom.

Part (b) earned 0 points. This response reflected the common misconception that the oxygen atoms in
methanoic acid were bonded to each other, with the central oxygen expanding its octet so that only three
electron domains would surround the carbon atom.

© 2013 The College Board. 57
Scoring Guidelines for Question 6
AP Chemistry Exam Question 6 Student Responses
(4 Points)
Free-Response Question 6

H2O molecule LiCl crystal

The structures of a water molecule and a crystal of LiCl(s) are represented above. A
6. The structures of aprepares
student water molecule and a crystal
a 1.0 M solution of LiCl(s)
by dissolving areLiCl(s)
4.2 g of represented above.
in enough waterAtostudent
make prepares a
1.0 M solution by of
100 mL dissolving
solution. 4.2 g of LiCl(s) in enough water to make 100 mL of solution.

(a) In the (a) Inprovided
space the space below,
providedshow
below,
theshow the interactions
interactions of the components
of the components of LiCl(aq)
of LiCl(aq) by
by making a drawing that
represents making a drawing
the different that represents
particles present inthethedifferent
solution.particles
Base thepresent in theinsolution.
particles Base on the particles
your drawing
the particles in your drawing on the particles shown in the representations above.
shown in the representations above. Include only one formula unit of LiCl and no more than ten molecules
Include only one formula unit of LiCl and no more than ten molecules of water. Your
of water. Your drawing
drawing must include
must include the following
the following details. details.

• identity• ofidentity of ions (symbol
ions (symbol and charge)
and charge)
• the arrangement and proper orientation of the particles in the solution
• the arrangement and proper orientation of the particles in the solution

LiCl (aq)

(b) The student passes a direct current through the solution and observes that chlorine gas is produced at the
anode. Identify the chemical species produced at the cathode and justify your answer using the information
given in the table below.

Half-reaction Standard Reduction Potential at 25∞C (V)
+ −
Li (aq) + e Æ Li(s) − 3.05
− −
2 H2O(l) + 2 e Æ H2(g) + 2 OH (aq) − 0.83

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58
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Information for Free-Response Question 6
The student should spend approximately 7–8 minutes on
Timing this question.

2.A.3 Solutions are homogenous mixtures in which the
physical properties are dependent on the concentration of
the solute and the strengths of all interactions among the
Essential Knowledge particles of the solutes and solvent.
3.C.3 Electrochemistry shows the interconversion between
chemical and electrical energy in galvanic and electrolytic
cells.
1.1 The student can create representations and models
of natural or man-made phenomena and systems in the
Science Practices domain.
5.1 The student can analyze data to identify patterns or
relationships.
2.8 The student can draw and/or interpret representations
of solutions that show the interactions between the solute
and solvent.
Learning Objectives
3.13 The student can analyze data regarding galvanic or
electrolytic cells to identify properties of the underlying
redox reactions.

© 2013 The College Board. 59
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Scoring Guidelines for Question 6
Question 6
(4 Points)

H2O molecule LiCl crystal

The structures of a water molecule and a crystal of LiCl(s) are represented above. A
student prepares a 1.0 M solution by dissolving 4.2 g of LiCl(s) in enough water to make
100 mL of solution.
(a) In the space provided below, show the interactions of the components of LiCl(aq) by
making a drawing that represents the different particles present in the solution. Base
the particles in your drawing on the particles shown in the representations above.
Include only one formula unit of LiCl and no more than ten molecules of water. Your
drawing must include the following details.
• identity of ions (symbol and charge)
• the arrangement and proper orientation of the particles in the solution

LiCl (aq)

60
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

1 point is earned for a correctly drawn
and labeled particulate representation of
The sketch should clearly show: the ions. (Representation must indicate
that the smaller ion is Li+. Representations
1. a clear representation of at least one that include more than one formula unit
Li+ ion and one Cl− ion separated of LiCl (dissolved or undissolved) are
from each other, labeled, and acceptable as long as at least one of the
charged; formula units is separated into its ions and
2. each ion surrounded by at least two the ions are correctly labeled with their
H2O molecules; and respective identities and charges.)
3. H2O molecules with the proper 1 point is earned for a correctly drawn
orientation around each ion (i.e., the particulate representation of water
oxygen end of the water molecules molecules of hydration surrounding the
closer to the lithium ion and the ions.
hydrogen end of the water molecules
closer to the chloride ion). 1 point is earned for correctly representing
the orientation of the water molecules of
hydration with the proper polarity.

(b) The student passes a direct current through the solution and observes that chlorine
gas is produced at the anode. Identify the chemical species produced at the cathode
and justify your answer using the information given in the table below.

Half-reaction Standard Reduction Potential at 25°C (V)
Li+(aq) + e− → Li(s) − 3.05
2 H2O(l) + 2 e− → H2(g) + 2 OH−(aq) − 0.83

H2(g) and OH−(aq) 1 point is earned for correctly identifying
either of the chemical species produced at
The hydrogen atoms in H2O are reduced the cathode with the proper justification.
to H2 at the cathode because this reaction
has a higher (more favorable or less Note: the justification must clearly indicate
negative) standard reduction potential that “higher” means “less negative.” A
than the reduction of lithium ions to “lower magnitude” negative value also
Li(s). earns the point.

© 2013 The College Board. 61

Chemistry Practice Exam 123
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 6A

62
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

© 2013 The College Board. 63
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 6B

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

© 2013 The College Board. 65
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 6C

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

© 2013 The College Board. 67
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 6 Commentary

Overview
This question provided an opportunity for students to create a particulate representation of an aqueous
solution and predict what would occur when the solution was electrolyzed. Part (a) required students
to draw a particulate representation of a 1.0 M aqueous solution of lithium chloride. The particulate
representation had to indicate clearly the relative sizes of ions and the formation of solvation shells
around the ions with water molecules in their proper orientation relative to the ions. Part (b) provided
an opportunity for students to predict what would occur when the solution formed in part (a) was
electrolyzed. Specifically, students had to justify, using the table of standard reduction potentials, which
chemical species would be produced at the cathode of the electrolysis cell.

Sample: 6A
Score: 4
In part (a), the maximum 3 points were earned because the ions were correctly identified as being solvated
by water molecules in the proper orientation relative to the lithium and chloride ions.

In part (b), 1 point was earned because H2(g) was correctly identified as being produced at the cathode,
and it was explained that the standard reduction potential for water is higher than that of the lithium
cation.

Sample: 6B
Score: 3
In part (a), the maximum 3 points were earned because the ions were correctly identified as being solvated
by water molecules in the proper orientation relative to the lithium and chloride ions.

In part (b), 0 points were earned because lithium was incorrectly identified as the substance that was
produced at the cathode.

Sample: 6C
Score: 1
In part (a), the response earned 0 points. Although a representation of a bulk lithium chloride crystal was
shown, there was no clear separation of ions, nor was a proper representation of water molecules displayed
in the diagram.

In part (b), 1 point was earned for stating that hydrogen gas will be produced at the cathode because of
the higher standard reduction potential for the production of H2(g) via the reduction of water.

© 2013 The College Board. 68
Scoring Guidelines for Question 7
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses
Question 7
Free-Response Question 7 (4 Points)

– +
HIn(aq) + H O(l) In (aq) + +H3O (aq)
Æ In−(aq)
HIn(aq) + H2O(l)2 ¨ + H3O (aq)
yellow blue
yellow blue
The indicator HIn is a weak acid with a pKa value of 5.0. It reacts with water as represented
7. The indicator HIn is a weak acid with a pKa value
in the equation above. Consider the
of 5.0. It reacts with water as represented in the equation
two beakers below. Each beaker has a layer of colorless
above. Consider the two beakers
oil (a nonpolar solvent)below.
on topEach beaker
of a layer has a layer
of aqueous of solution.
buffer colorlessInoilbeaker
(a nonpolar solvent)
X the pH of on top of a
the buffer
layer of aqueous buffersolution is 3,In
solution. and in beaker
beaker X theY the
pH pH of the
of the buffer
buffer solution
solution is is
3,7.and
A small amount
in beaker Y the pH of the
of HIn
buffer solution is A
is 7. placed
smallinamount
both beakers.
of HInThe mixtures
is placed in are
both stirred well,The
beakers. andmixtures
the oil andarewater layers
stirred well, and the oil
are allowed to separate.
and water layers are allowed to separate.

Oil Oil

Buffer Buffer
pH 3 pH 7

Beaker X Beaker Y

(a) What is(a)
the What
predominant form of HIn
is the predominant in the
form aqueous
of HIn in thebuffer in beaker
aqueous buffer inY,beaker
the acid form
Y, the acidor the conjugate base
form? Explain
formyour reasoning.
or the conjugate base form? Explain your reasoning.
(b) In beaker X the oil layer is yellow, whereas in beaker Y the oil layer is colorless. Explain these
1 point is earned for correctly identifying
The conjugate
observations base
in terms of form,
both In−(aq),equilibria
acid-base is the and− interparticle forces.
predominant form of the indicator in the In (aq) as the predominant form in the
aqueous pH 7 buffer in beaker Y. This is aqueous layer of beaker Y because the
because the pH is greater than the pK of solution is not acidic (may be implicit).
a
HIn, causing the equilibrium to form a 1 point is earned for stating that pH > pKa
significant amount of products, In−(aq) and that this causes the equilibrium to
and H3O+(aq). favor the products.

(b) In beaker X the oil layer is yellow, whereas in beaker Y the oil layer is colorless.
Explain these observations in terms of both acid-base equilibria and interparticle
forces.

At pH 3 the acid form HIn(aq)
predominates in the aqueous layer
of beaker X because pH < pKa. Since 1 point is earned for explaining the yellow
HIn(aq) is a neutral molecule, some color in the oil layer of beaker X in terms
of it can dissolve in the oil layer of of acid-base equilibrium and interparticle
beaker X because of London dispersion forces between HIn molecules and oil
interactions with the oil, causing the oil molecules.
layer to be yellow.
1 point is earned for explaining the
Since In−(aq) is charged, it will colorless oil layer of beaker Y in terms of
preferentially dissolve in the aqueous interparticle forces between In− ions and
layer of beaker Y because of ion-dipole water molecules.
interactions with the water, leaving the oil
layer colorless.

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69
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Information for Free-Response Question 7
The student should spend approximately 7–8 minutes on
Timing this question.

2.B.3 Intermolecular forces play a key role in determining
the properties of substances, including biological
structures and interactions.
Essential Knowledge 6.C.2 The pH is an important characteristic of aqueous
solutions that can be controlled with buffers. Comparing
pH to pKa allows one to determine the protonation state of
a molecule with a labile proton.
1.4 The student can use representations and models to
analyze situations or solve problems qualitatively and
quantitatively.
2.3 The student can estimate numerically quantities that
describe natural phenomena.
Science Practices 5.1 The student can analyze data to identify patterns or
relationships.
6.2 The student can construct explanations of phenomena
based on evidence produced through scientific practices.
6.4 The student can make claims and predictions about
natural phenomena based on scientific theories and models.
2.15 The student is able to explain observations regarding
the solubility of ionic solids and molecules in water and
other solvents on the basis of particle views that include
intermolecular interactions and entropic effects.
Learning Objectives
6.19 The student can relate the predominant form
of a chemical species involving a labile proton (i.e.,
protonated/deprotonated form of a weak acid) to the pH
of a solution and the pKa associated with the labile proton.

© 2013 The College Board. 70
AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Scoring Guidelines for Question 7
Question 7
(4 Points)

HIn(aq) + H2O(l) In–(aq) + H3O+(aq)
yellow blue

The indicator HIn is a weak acid with a pKa value of 5.0. It reacts with water as represented
in the equation above. Consider the two beakers below. Each beaker has a layer of colorless
oil (a nonpolar solvent) on top of a layer of aqueous buffer solution. In beaker X the pH of
the buffer solution is 3, and in beaker Y the pH of the buffer solution is 7. A small amount
of HIn is placed in both beakers. The mixtures are stirred well, and the oil and water layers
are allowed to separate.

Oil Oil

Buffer Buffer
pH 3 pH 7

Beaker X Beaker Y

(a) What is the predominant form of HIn in the aqueous buffer in beaker Y, the acid
form or the conjugate base form? Explain your reasoning.

The conjugate base form, In−(aq), is the 1 point is earned for correctly identifying
predominant form of the indicator in the In−(aq) as the predominant form in the
aqueous pH 7 buffer in beaker Y. This is aqueous layer of beaker Y because the
because the pH is greater than the pKa of solution is not acidic (may be implicit).
HIn, causing the equilibrium to form a 1 point is earned for stating that pH > pKa
significant amount of products, In−(aq) and that this causes the equilibrium to
and H3O+(aq). favor the products.

(b) In beaker X the oil layer is yellow, whereas in beaker Y the oil layer is colorless.
Explain these observations in terms of both acid-base equilibria and interparticle
forces.

At pH 3 the acid form HIn(aq)
predominates in the aqueous layer
of beaker X because pH < pKa. Since 1 point is earned for explaining the yellow
HIn(aq) is a neutral molecule, some color in the oil layer of beaker X in terms
of it can dissolve in the oil layer of of acid-base equilibrium and interparticle
beaker X because of London dispersion forces between HIn molecules and oil
interactions with the oil, causing the oil molecules.
layer to be yellow.
1 point is earned for explaining the
Since In−(aq) is charged, it will colorless oil layer of beaker Y in terms of
preferentially dissolve in the aqueous interparticle forces between In− ions and
layer of beaker Y because of ion-dipole water molecules.
interactions with the water, leaving the oil
layer colorless.

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 7A

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 7B

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Sample: 7C

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AP Chemistry Exam Student Responses

Free-Response Question 7 Commentary

Overview
This question provided an opportunity for students to use principles of acid–base chemistry and
intermolecular forces to explain observations concerning indicators in buffered solutions. Part (a) required
students to predict, with justification, whether the acid or base form of an indicator predominated in a
buffer solution of known pH. Part (b) provided an opportunity for students to rationalize observations
about the color of a nonpolar oil layer resting above the aqueous buffered solutions. The correct
explanations needed to reference the pH of the buffer and the intermolecular forces between the indicator
and the solvents.

Sample: 7A
Score: 4
In part (a), 2 points were earned for the correct discussion of the prevalence of the conjugate base form of
the indicator in a solution whose pH is significantly greater than the pKa of the indicator.

In part (b), the maximum 2 points were earned. The first point was earned for recognizing that the HIn
form of the indicator, with its yellow color, would exist in a solution of pH 3, and that the neutral HIn
molecule would interact favorably with the nonpolar oil. The second point was earned through a discussion
of the preferential interparticle interaction between the In– and the neutral aqueous layer in beaker Y via
ion–dipole intermolecular forces.

Sample: 7B
Score: 3
In part (a), the maximum 2 points were earned for a thorough discussion of the relationship of the pK a of
an indicator to the pH of a solution. Specifically, “in the buffer Y, the pH is more than 5.0 so it will favor the
In–(aq) or conjugate base form.”

In part (b), 1 point was earned. The response clearly explained why the yellow form existed in beaker X
because, for clarity, the pH of the solution was significantly lower than the pKa of the indicator. This fact
— combined with recognition of London forces between the HIn and the oil layer, resulting in a yellow
color in the oil layer — earned a point. The lack of discussion of ion–dipole interparticle forces in beaker Y
between the In- and the aqueous layer prevented the earning of the second point.

Sample: 7C
Score: 1
In part (a), 1 point was earned for the recognition that the conjugate base form of the indicator would
preferentially form in the buffer with pH 7. The second point was not awarded because the response did not
discuss the relationship of the pH of the solution to the pKa of the indicator.

In part (b), 0 points were earned. Although a discussion of the yellow color in beaker X was given, there was
no mention made of the interparticle forces between the indicator and the solvents in either beaker.

© 2013 The College Board. 77